Home' LOTL : January 2007 Contents 39
By Dawn Cohen
QWe have bought a puppy fo
our shared home and met each
other’s parents. But when I say
‘I love you’ she looks away, and has
never said she loves me too. Why not?
AWhen we don’t think beyond
the superficial meaning of the
L word and its mates, we
can get very hurt when lovers don’t
respond the way we want them to. But
the three little words usually hide secret
bundles of more complicated communications.
Often we say, ‘I love you’ when really we mean,
‘Am I loved?’ Sometimes we trot the L word out
when we mean, ‘Am I secure?’ Or ‘I am feeling
abandoned because you are withdrawn.’
When hidden meanings are not directly expressed,
our beloved may sense the pressure of a demand
or a subtle aggression. For some women, saying
‘I love you’ means ‘I am having a great time with
you right now.’ For others it means commitment
Women may also have heard the words said to
them in different contexts. Fathers sometimes
say ‘I love you’ while raping their daughters. Two-
timing spouses can use the phrase to quell their
Think about what ‘I love you,’ means to you,
then ask your partner directly what is holding
her back. Discuss the different situation in which
you have each said and heard the magic words.
The most likely scenario? She is not sure she
wants to be committed for the rest of her life.
QI was having a good time visiting my
former partner and we ended up in
bed. It just happened, but I don’t know
whether to tell my new girlfriend. Erica
AYour first problem is what you are telling
yourself. Consensual sex doesn’t “just
happen”. There are exit signs all along
the way. When she put her arm around you, you
could have pulled away. You could have refused
her offer of another drink.
I am not trying to make you feel guilty, but you
have no hope of making a relationship work if you
can’t get honest about your motives, and while
you pretend a tsunami swept you into bed, you
won’t get within cooee of what is going on here.
A common scenario for sex with the ex is when
she feels jealous as you begin to take flight into
a new life so she tries to seduce you back. If she
is successful it hooks you back into a stagnant
bond that destroys your chances of moving on.
Which may be the very reason why you fell for it.
Maybe you are frightened of being vulnerable with
your current girlfriend, and have sabotaged your
new relationship. Work out your motives, and
write to me when you know what they are.
QMy best friend spends time with a new
woman from her work who always puts
me down. They go out together and
leave me out. My friend says I am just jealous
and her new mate has got a wacky sense of
AIf her new mate is simply spilling over
with comic genius, why does she need
to focus it all on you? It’s she who
is jealous. You have done what you can by
identifying the problem. Next time the girl cracks
a joke at your expense tell her you don’t want to
be the butt of her wit any more. Your best option
is not to try to force your friend to see the truth,
but to try to protect your friendship by maintaining
ongoing contact until her new bond loses some
of its gloss.
The opinions expressed in this column are
the personal views of the writer. They are not
intended a be a substitute for professional
advice. If you need medical or psychological
help please see your local GP or psychologist.
Links Archive December 2006 February 2007 Navigation Previous Page Next Page